Updated: May 6
Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays
In what may have been the most exciting performance of the weekend, we saw UTEP frosh Michael Saruni outkick NCAA legend (and recent pro) Donavan Brazier to finish with an incredible time of 1:45.82.
After being disqualified at indoor nationals, Saruni is most likely running with a chip on his shoulders. I’m sure he’ll want to show the nation what he’s capable of after having his teammate win the indoor national title.
In third place was Georgia sophomore Jeramey Hampton. He was followed by anther SEC sophomore in Alex Rogers (Texas). Both Hampton and Rogers walked away with personal bests of 1:48.
Rounding out the top five was Kansas senior Strymar Livingston, who ran a solid race all the way through, but locked up a touch in the final straightaway. He still finished with a respectable time of 1:48.
The top finisher? A high schooler who ran 4:00.61. Sam Worley is the real deal and will be on the sub-four watch list for the rest of the season. The Texas commit was able to out run current Texas Longhorn Alex Rogers who ran a very solid 4:01.
The Texas connection continued with former Longhorn, Leo Manzano who ran 4:02 to place third overall.
Notable results included Houston's Brian Barraza (running unattached) earning a time of 4:03. UTEP’s Jonah Koech was a spot behind Barraza and finished with a 4:03 as well.
In his first collegiate steeplechase race ever, Texas frosh John Rice earned a win with a time of 9:04. He defeated North Texas’ James Coleman who ran 9:07.
Sid Vaughn (Georgia) crossed the line a step ahead of Dajour Braxton (LSU). Each individual finished with a time of 14:15.
Clemson has proven to be one of the deepest 800 programs in the nation and they showed that collective talent with a 7:28 relay win. The relay included Oliver Lloyd, Mpho Makofane, Terrell Jackson, and John Lewis.
Although LSU may be thought of as a “sprinting school”, they still have some talent in the mid-distances. The Tigers were able to hold off Texas A&M and to earn the relay victory. Both teams recorded times of 9:46.
Although Stanford will likely get the most recognition for the incredible 10k’s they were able to produce, the 800 field at Florida was equally as impressive.
It seemed like a repeat of indoor nationals as many of the nation’s premier half-milers battled in one of the fastest races of the weekend. When the dust settled, it was Penn State star Isaiah Harris crossing the line in an NCAA lead of 1:45.64! That time was enough to hold-off Georgetown ace Joe White who ran 1:46.07 for second.
Florida’s Andres Arroyo finished third on his home track with a time of 1:46.42. The Florida senior has proven to be one of the best 800 runners in the nation, but he must be able to perform like this during championship season. Despite having a PR of 1:45.78, Arroyo has had only one All-American finish (8th in 2015) during his six visits to nationals.
Craign Engels (Ole Miss) and Robert Heppenstall (Wake Forest) also had strong performances of their own with each individual running 1:46.96 and 1:47.75 respectively. Engels is starting to gain some momentum after a broken collarbone delayed the start to his indoor season. Look for Engels to continuously drop time throughout the rest of this season.
Alabama’s Jacopo Lahbi was the last man under 1:48 with a time of 1:47.98.
A total of 20 athletes broke the 1:50 barrier.
Rob Napolitano, an experienced and proven Columbia miler, toed the line with Florida sophomore Jack Guyton, a rising star with outstanding potential.
In the end, it was experience that prevailed as Napolitano edged Guyton 3:43.50 to 3:43.63. Both athletes finished with personal bests.
Rounding out the top three was Mississippi’s Derek Gutierrez who ran 3:44 (a personal best). Gutierrez may be the next Ole Miss miler to watch. He is only a junior and has shown consistently improved on his times with each passing year.
The race was dominated by Florida State alumni Zak Seddon who cruised to a time of 8:30. It wasn’t until Alex Grady (Georgia Tech) crossed the line in fourth that we saw a collegiate cross the line.
Grady was able to dip under nine minutes with a time of 8:57. He led Winthrop’s Kevin Mills under nine minutes as well with a time of 8:58.
Stanford alum Jim Rosa was the winner of this event in 14:18. Shortly after Rosa came the top collegiate, Khalil Rmidi Kinini, a senior from Maryland Eastern Shore. Kinini finished with a time of 14:20 and was tailed by Florida’s Carlos Miranda who ran 14:25.
It was an exciting battle between 800U (Penn State) and the mid-distance powerhouse of Florida. The race was decided by Florida’s Andres Arroyo who came off the final turn with a lethal kick to shake off Isaiah Harris. Each relay squad finished with a time of 7:18.
Ohio State rounded out the top three with a time of 7:24.
Justine Kiprotich (Michigan State) was able to put another slash in the win column after running 1:49.04 to win by two seconds.
After a PR in the 5000 the week before, Hardt dropped down in distance to showoff the range he’s developed. The Spartan senior ran 3:45 to get a win and earn his second PR of the season.
UCLA Legends Invite (Bob Larsen Distance Carnival)
Minnesota’s Mitch Hechsel ran 1:49.16 in his first open race of the season.
Cornell’s James Gowans took a trip to the west coast where he ran 4:00.73 for the win.
We saw an excellent match-up between UCLA’s Austin O’Neil and Gonzaga’s Troy Fraley which produced some of the fastest steeplechase times of the weekend.
O’Neil secured the win with a time of 8:44 after making a hard move on the back-straightaway of the final lap. Despite being passed, Fraley hung tough and finished with a respectable time of 8:45. Those times are currently second and third in the NCAA standings.
It was a solid showing by the UCLA men with Daniel De La Torre running 13:57 for the win. He was followed closely by freshman teammate Garrett Reynolds who ran 13:58. Both times are personal bests.
Cornell’s David Taylor and Gonzaga freshman Jake Perrin were the next two collegians to cross the line with each individual running 14:04.
A total of four men were able to go under the 30-minute barrier with UCLA alum Lane Werley taking the win in 29:16. He was able to pace freshman Colin Burke (UCLA) to a time of 29:27.
UCLA’s Jonah Diaz and Jaskson Marshall ran 29:52 and 29:59 respectively.
San Francisco State Distance Carnival
It was a good day for the division two men as they were able to put three men under 1:50. Oliver Aitchison (Adams State) was able to get the win by running 1:48.99.
David Ribich (Western Oregon) took second with a time of 1:49.41 while Derek Morton of Chico State was the last man under 1:50 with a time of 1:49.92.
It was a solid double for Chico State’s Derek Morgan. He finished as the top collegian with a time of 3:46.
Jordan Cross of Weber State left San Francisco with gold after putting together an excellent 8:49 effort. Cross led six other individuals under the nine-minute barrier and was followed closely by freshmen Jacob Heslington (BYU) and Samuel Abascal (Eastern Kentucky).
Derek Moragn wasn’t the only star for Chico State. Teammate Kyle Medina took the victory with a fast time of 13:54. He beat out the talented duo of Kyle Eller (13:56) and Andrew Johnston (13:59) from the Air Force.
They may not have win, but it’s encouraging to see the Air Force guys running well after a quiet indoor track season.
Sidney Gidabuday (Adams State) continued the division two dominance with a time of 29:08 (and led ten others under the 30-minute mark). William Carey’s Geoffrey Kipchumba was a few seconds behind Gidabuday with a time of 29:18.
Ollie Lockley (Missouri) was a pleasant surprise for third as he crossed the line in 29:24. Lockley was followed by Colorado State senior (and Columbia transfer) Tait Rutherford who ran 29:25 for fourth overall.
Jonathan Dahlke (Mount Olive) took first in this race with a very solid time of 8:50. He has now earned his second personal best time of the outdoor.
Charlotte sophomore Tom Nobles was runner-up with a time of 8:58.
David Barney of William & Mary was able to hold off Thomas Slattery of Fordham, 14:17 to 14:20. Just like Dahlke, this is Barney’s second PR of the season after running a 4:08 mile PR two weeks ago.
George Mason’s Steven Flynn ran 14:23 for third.
Adam Craig (Mount Olive) soloed a 29:39 for the win. He was the only individual to break 30 minutes.
RECAP COMING SOON